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Small greenhouse - heating ideas?

Discussion in 'Greenhouse Growing' started by Greg C, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. Greg C

    Greg C Gardener

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    I've been given a small rotating pyramid greenhouse that my dad no longer uses. What I want to know is, is there any way to keep the temperature up over winter? I want to keep some of my plants in there that don't necessarily need indoor storage, but may be killed by our frost. I have no electricity supply and as you can see it isn't a huge greenhouse.Greenhouse.jpg
     
  2. ricky101

    ricky101 Super Gardener

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    Hi,

    Thats a difficult one without a mains electrical supply.

    If you had one and insulated it with bubble wrap etc and had a heater with a frost free setting you could overwinter many plants, I have mine set to 4c and it keeps lots of tender plants going.

    The alternatives such a solar/battery would be expensive and perhaps not effective in your colder climate , many such diy solar projects on ytube.

    Paraffin or gas heaters cannot be regulated as easily and need some ventilation.

    Perhaps other can suggest something else ...?
     
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    • Gwen austin

      Gwen austin Gardener

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      I would suggest a candle burning underneath a terracotta pot. Keeps temp above freezing and very cheap. Depends on how hot your plants need really
       
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      • Mike Allen

        Mike Allen Gardener

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        Hi Gregg. I have seen these and similar shall we call them gimmicky greenhouses at the RHS London shows. I believe they are intended to act as perhaps an eye catcher in a garden also a means of giving extra protection to various special plants. To me, they are little more than the old style, bottle garden. From a practical point. How might you go about adding insulation. Then as is your problem. How does one keep it warm in winter.

        Having spoken to exhibitors in London. It appears to be,these and the more rectangular micro glasshouses are for mimicry. Along comes autumn and winter and the micro glasshouse is taken indoors,musually into the real greenhouse.

        In reallity. Were you to keep plants in it in winter. You would have to wrap it up externally. In some areas the daytime temperatures might fall below those of the night, so the external claddings stays on. The plants spend a day or two, perhaps more in darkness. Hells bells, me plants are dead.

        Gregg my friend. Forget the micro glasshouse when it comes to winter. Enjoy your gardening .
         
      • BigC

        BigC Super Gardener

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        Here is my Terracotta Greenhouse Heater heater...it just takes the nip out of the air...Tealights are not a bit of good as they only last a few hours and its a chore to change them so I made a 100hr candle...(use these with caution) plans available on YouTube...

        Greenhouse heater.jpg
         
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        • Greg C

          Greg C Gardener

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          Thanks Mike. I hear what you say. The greenhouse is quite large. I wouldn’t call it micro. But get your point. My dad used this for years successfully, but never over winter. I’m wanting something to keep the frost off some of my plants. And then something to grow veg in over summer as our temps aren’t hot enough to do so during a normal summer. Just thought hearing it would help make it more useful over winter.
          Thanks for the input.
           
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          • Greg C

            Greg C Gardener

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            Thanks Big C. Does it really work? I’ve read so many conflicting reports on them. But this still makes the most sense for me.
             
          • BigC

            BigC Super Gardener

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            This was a two-fold experiment for me one to make the heater element and two to make a longer lasting candle or source....
            Results were as expected..outside in the fros of winter its never going to heat the place to where you can strip off layers of clothing, it takes the nip out of the air and keeps the 8x6 greenhouse frost free.
            The candle is home made these need to be used with caution
            If your fine with the concept then it works fine
            The candle will last for near on 100 hrs..
            For me its fine as I dont want to use parafin.
            Regards C
             
          • CanadianLori

            CanadianLori Total Gardener

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            I used 3 kerosene lanterns in my greenhouse before I got my natural gas heater. They kept the temps at 4f higher than ambient. Thats not bad for a 6x8x8' area of approx 300 cubic feet. You have to be careful with kerosene/parrafin because if not regulated you could land up with the glass getting coated in black greasy smoke.
            Without knowing the dimensions of your greenhouse, it is difficult to offer advice. I would say that what @BigC has suggested might be just the ticket for you if it is indeed a small area.
             
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            • WeeTam

              WeeTam Total Gardener

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              If it was mine id get electric to it and explore your heating/ insulation options.



              But you could also try warm water to keep the chill off ?

              Water in black bags heats up during the day giving off small amounts of heat at night. I would insulate the north and n.e windows too with large bubble bubblewrap.
               
            • Greg C

              Greg C Gardener

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              Thanks. That would be my ideal. But our property layout doesn’t allow for that unfortunately. That’s why I’m looking at alternatives.
               
            • Greg C

              Greg C Gardener

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              Thank you. This definitely sounds like the best option. The greenhouse isn’t huge so I think one or two terracotta lanterns could help a lot. Maybe that mixed with some containers with water too.
               
            • JWK

              JWK Gardener

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              What plants are you going to keep in there? Some plants will survive frosts just being kept dry.
               
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              • Greg C

                Greg C Gardener

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                Some of my potted plants like blanket flower, Gerbera daisy, strawberries etc. Then I’ll use the greenhouse for propagating next season.
                 
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                • Mike Allen

                  Mike Allen Gardener

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                  Hi Greg. I realise how easy it is sometimes to offend others on forums. Please believe me, I only try to pass on knowledge and advice. Having chatted with sellers etc of these novelty glasshouses, to discover that the idea tends to revert back to Victorian times. As so often perhaps watching a period TV episode, a scene is on the screen of a very cluttered room, many drapes and a vast assortment of vases and figurines about the place, and. Hey look at that. A minature glasshouse, with real live plants growing inside. So in my humble way, I tend to accept that as always, what goes around, comes around.

                  Perhaps some trendy person has decided to re-invent the wheel. Honestly the more I study these minature glasshouses. Yes the more I am convinced. Yes,they are gimmicy, perhaps an meant as being in interior decorative whatsit. Coming back down to earth. My advice is. Forget it as an all season outdoor device.
                   

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